While our wireless routers have seen a boon in speeds and features over the last few years, the same can’t be said for design. ASUS is looking to buck that trend with its upcoming Blue Cave network device. With Dyson-like looks and 802.11ac speeds, there’s a chance this router might not get buried on your shelf out of sight…
Let’s start with the physical design, which is really what you came for. There’s a Dyson-like quality to the latest ASUS router. That blue circle is reminiscent of those popular fans. And while it still isn’t the most attractive look, it’s still an improvement over just about every alternative on the market. You can spend upwards of $300 or more and still be strapped with the typical black and plastic design.
The Blue Cave has an internal antenna design which ASUS claims will deliver speeds that are “up to 20% faster” than competitors. However, there isn’t too much information on how that’s exactly happening. Blue Cave has the usual dual-band connectivity that we’ve come to expect from most routers, alongside 802.11ac speeds. Our guess is that the open-air design allows the signal to radiate more freely than when spread across four or more antennas.
Users will be able to count on a handful of “smart” features which includes Alexa and IFTTT support right out of the box. Like any good router these days, you’ll also be able to set family-friendly browsing preferences as well as give certain devices priority over others.
In the last 12 months we’ve seen intense focus in this product category from a wide range of established players and newcomers. Even brands like Alphabet are getting in the mix with its own line of Wi-Fi routers, leaning on mesh network technology that has become increasingly popular. Many of those options retail for $250 or more. That makes it a pricey investment to get the latest and greatest out of your internet connection.
We’ve yet to see final pricing or a solid release date on the ASUS Blue Cave. Engadget is reporting that it will retail for $180 when it finally hits store shelves. That would put it squarely in the highly-competitive $150-$200 range of prosumer routers that is currently packed with a multitude of options. Time will tell if the latest release from ASUS is more than a unique design but rather a worthwhile addition to your home network.